The Haunted Youth, the band of Hasselt-based 29-year-old Joachim Liebens, became indie darlings in Belgium and The Netherlands since the very first single they released.
The songs, often about the struggle of life but coated in gloriously dreamy guitars and synths, are therapy to Liebens, and strike a chord with indie lovers all over Europe and even the US.
Their debut single ‘Teen Rebel’ certainly hit the mark: The Haunted Youth won Studio Brussel’s talent contest De Nieuwe Lichting,
Debut album ‘Dawn Of The Freak’
The band released their debut album on November 4, 2022 via May Way Records, and marked the pinnacle of a dazzling ride that started in the spring of 2021.
‘Broken’ is the centrepiece of the album. “The song is about feeling lost or helpless after being betrayed in a friendship or relationship you thought would last forever”, THY’s Joachim Liebens explains.
Liebens put his heart and soul in ‘Dawn Of The Freak’, writing all the songs and producing the album. As dark as the lyrics often are, the album as a whole – both musically and ideologically – exudes salvation and connection, implying that it’s okay to feel like shit sometimes.
“It’s therapy, a way of dealing with my existence. And I hope this album will be universal and accessible enough for others to enjoy it in the same way.”
Featuring The Haunted Youth’s signature dreamy guitar and synth sound, latest single ‘I Feel Like Shit And I Wanna Die’ is the missing link between The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’ and Slowdive’s ‘Sugar For The Pill’. And even though the title is dark, the message is positive, saying it’s ok to feel bad sometimes.
The music of The Haunted Youth echoes the shoegaze and dream pop of musical heroes like Slowdive, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine and DIIV. But the band also has a very characteristic and instantly recognizable sound with that typical dreamy guitar, melancholic synths and Liebens’ velvety voice.
The Haunted Youth is: Joachim Liebens (vocals guitars), Tom Stokx (guitars), Hanne Smets (keys), Nick Caers (drums) and Stef Castro (bass).